Last week LinkedIn became the second most popular social network on the planet, surpassing the once-upon-a-time-King of social media, MySpace, as the premier social network. LinkedIn is quite possibly the darling of recruiting and candidate sourcing for professional recruiters across the globe. Nearly 87% of employers, who hire through internet recruiting, go to the site first to search and source for candidates that fit their job requisition requirements.
Like any job board or social network, finding top talent is the top priority of erecruiting. Companies often use sites as a means of sourcing for just in time to fill positions, which is fine, but there are many ways to skin a cat.
One of the most underutilized functionalities on LinkedIn is the question and answer section. Members of LinkedIn can pose a question inviting their network as well as those outside of their sphere of influence to contribute. It’s a great way to establish relationships and indentify potential influencers and partners to help you fill future positions. I recommend that hiring managers and recruiters post a question that is somewhat specific to a position or department where they regularly have openings. Establish relationships with the experts who answer the question, and continue to reach out to them on a regular basis. With the lines of communication and relationships now established, recruiters can simply email the contact as soon as a position comes available. Depending on the depth of the relationship, the person can direct them to several qualified leads making your time to fill decline.
Groups are also a great way to search and source for potential candidates but many groups’ limit or refrain from adding recruiters to their communities because of headhunters who continually post open positions without taking the time to develop real interaction. Take 5 minutes twice a week to leave 5 comments in communities you are a part of. If you are unable, consider leveraging your administrative assistant providing them with a series or answers to common questions allowing for fostering relationships. When the time comes to post a job opening, consider private messaging several key individuals that you have established relationships directly for help. This could be in the form of your contact posting a job to their groups or sending out a few quick emails alerting potential candidates to the opening.
Post your openings within your profile. One of the most creative tactics I have seen is from several years ago in internet recruiting, prior to LinkedIn allowing for recruiters to post free openings. Recruiters, hiring managers, and corporate leaders can post open positions within their own LinkedIn profile. Your name come up in the keyword search, but your profile becomes a destination, and depending on your LinkedIn subscription, you can have access to leads, such as who viewed your LinkedIn profile and more.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a HR consultant, new media strategist, and author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. Jessica is the host of Job Search Secrets, an internet television show for job seekers.